By David Flynn
An imaginative tv series of separate stories about the unusual started on US tv in 1959, and whenever its title is uttered, it conjures up memories of the strange and extraordinary.
The Twilight Zone had an unforgettable theme tune that opens the black and white introduction of the programme into a space scene. A door appears in space followed by a window which breaks, followed by other objects such as an eye and a clock.
The creator and narrator of the series, Rod Serling, did a voiceover at the introduction when the door appeared onscreen. It went like this: “You unlock this door with the key of imagination, beyond it is another dimension, a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind, you are moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas, you’ve just crossed over, into the Twilight Zone,” said Serling at the introduction.
There were other such introductions by Serling as the series progressed.
The black and white half-hour show ran on the CBS network at the late time of 10pm on Friday nights. It had no great competition in that time slot, only a drama series called The Detectives, which starred top movie actor of the time, Robert Taylor. Reviews in the media across America were kind to Twilight Zone, which helped keep it on the air beyond the first season.